[Mailman-Users] Uncaught bounce notifications

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Thu Dec 15 05:47:01 CET 2005

Darren G Pifer wrote:
>       This one is a little bit old but I thought I would add to
>this thread anyhow. It appears that the problem with the "uncaught
>bounce notifications" was with the mail client the user had been using.
>The mail client that had this issue is named "Compoze" and is available
>through our Web portal. When the user hit the "reply" button in Compoze,
>the To: field was  listname-bounces at list.odu.edu address. 

Because Compoze is replying to the envelope sender or possibly the
Sender: address instead of the address(es) in Reply-To: or From:.
Compoze is not doing the right thing.

>       As a test case, I sent some mail to a test list serve I created
>"odutest at list.odu.edu" that had 2 email addresses (my own and a
>colleague) subscribed to it. I gathered results from 3 mailers: Lotus
>Notes (which is the school's supported mail client), Compoze and
>Evolution (my mail client) and what was returned when I clicked on the
>"Reply" button and on the "Reply to all" button for each mail clients
>after receiving mail. It is surprising how 3 mail clients came up with
>different results by clicking on these buttons.
>Lotus Notes
>    => Reply
>       To: dpifer at odu.edu
>    => Reply to all
>       To: dpifer at odu.edu
>       Cc: odutest at list.odu.edu, odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu

I don't think the Reply to all should include
odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu. This is unusual, but not strictly WRONG
because it is not covered by the standard.

>    => Reply
>       To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu
>    => Reply to all
>       To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu, odutest at list.odu.edu

This is clearly wrong. Compoze is completely overriding the From: in
favor of Sender: or envelope sender.

>    => Reply
>       To: dpifer at odu.edu
>    => Reply to all
>       To: odutest at list.odu.edu

I suspect the only reason that dpifer at odu.edu is not included in the
Reply to all is that it is you <dpifer at odu.edu> doing the replying and
Evolution knows it. I suspect if your colleague posted and you did a
Reply to all, it would go to odutest at list.odu.edu and the colleague,
or better, To: the colleague with Cc: to the list. Assuming this is
correct, I would say that Evolution is the only user agent that is
doing the right thing.

>I am going to work with our Web portal people to see why compoze is
>working the way it is and see if this is resolvable.

>From RFC 2822, sec 3.6.2
   The originator fields also provide the information required when
   replying to a message.  When the "Reply-To:" field is present, it
   indicates the mailbox(es) to which the author of the message suggests
   that replies be sent.  In the absence of the "Reply-To:" field,
   replies SHOULD by default be sent to the mailbox(es) specified in the
   "From:" field unless otherwise specified by the person composing the

And from RFC 2822 sec 3.6.3
   When a message is a reply to another message, the mailboxes of the
   authors of the original message (the mailboxes in the "From:" field)
   or mailboxes specified in the "Reply-To:" field (if it exists) MAY
   appear in the "To:" field of the reply since these would normally be
   the primary recipients of the reply.  If a reply is sent to a message
   that has destination fields, it is often desirable to send a copy of
   the reply to all of the recipients of the message, in addition to the
   author.  When such a reply is formed, addresses in the "To:" and
   "Cc:" fields of the original message MAY appear in the "Cc:" field of
   the reply, since these are normally secondary recipients of the
   reply.  If a "Bcc:" field is present in the original message,
   addresses in that field MAY appear in the "Bcc:" field of the reply,
   but SHOULD NOT appear in the "To:" or "Cc:" fields.

   Note: Some mail applications have automatic reply commands that
   include the destination addresses of the original message in the
   destination addresses of the reply.  How those reply commands behave
   is implementation dependent and is beyond the scope of this document.
   In particular, whether or not to include the original destination
   addresses when the original message had a "Reply-To:" field is not
   addressed here.

Two other notes from me:
Bcc fields will normally not appear in a message being replied to if
the message was received from someone else, as the Bcc will normally
have been removed.

Although the RFC declines to address the operation of automatic reply
commands, I note that this is in the area of which destination
addresses might be included in the reply. I don't thing it
contemplates substituting Sender: or envelope sender for From: or
Reply-To: addresses.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list